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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  August 21, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> o'donnell: tonight mitt romney tells missouri senate candidate todd akin to drop out. akin says no. >> by taking this stand, this is going to strengthen our country. >> o'donnell: but could it weaken g.o.p. chances of winning the senate? wyatt andrews and john dickerson akin'sfallout from akin's controversial comments about rape and abortion. firefighters may be getting the upper hand on a wild fire threatening thousands of northern california homes. tammy leitner is on the fire line. havana to key west, swimmer diana nyad runs out of luck. elaine quijano has her story. and a dog can be a life saver for a soldier. >> i hated dogs. then i got this dog.
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he changed my life. >> o'donnell: but anna werner tells us the army just made it a lot harder to get one. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> o'donnell: good evening. scott is on assignment. i'm norah o'donnell. republican chances of taking back control of the senate today took a hit because the g.o.p. candidate in missouri refused to drop out of the race. despite his controversial comments about rape and abortion. republican standard bearer mitt romney is now leading the call for todd akin to step aside, but akin, who missed a 6:00 p.m. eastern time deadline for withdrawing, said he hadn't done anything morally or ethically wrong. all he did, akin said, is get a word in the wrong place. wyatt andrews begins our coverage. >> reporter: stunned by all the back lash, todd akin insisted that his comments about rape and women were just a mistake and that he could still win the
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missouri senate seat held by incumbent democrat claire mccaskill. akin announced his final decision on the mike huckabee radio broadcast. >> rape can lead to pregnancy. >> reporter: akin also apologized in this ad for suggesting that rape victims are somehow able to avoid pregnancy. >> i ask for your forgiveness. >> reporter: but forgiveness from mainstream republicans isn't happening. today mitt romney suggested that akin quit. paul ryan called him yesterday to ask directly. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell told akin when the future of our country is at stake, sorry is not sufficient. the republican party withdrew $5 million and the karl rove super pac american cross roads withdrew all funds in the pipeline for akin. >> there's no way he can recover
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in my opinion. so our group decided if he remains the nominee there's no reason to throw good money after bad by trying to win this seat. >> reporter: before this controversy, republicans were certain they could beat mccaskill and possibly win a majority in the senate. now the missouri seat is in play and democrats are using akin to rekindle the abortion rights debate. in tampa, republicans preparing for next week's convention called for a human life amendment granting legal rights to the unborn which democrats say could result in a ban on abortion nationwide without exception for rape and incest. democratic candidates like elizabeth warren in massachusetts are making abortion rights a national issue, even though her opponent, senator scott brown, supports abortion rights and has criticized akin. >> the republicans would like to pretend that akin is just a real shocker in the republican party. but we've got to remember, he is part of an ongoing republican
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agenda. >> reporter: two sources tonight tell cbs news that akin's real agenda here is to hang tough for now, to see if he can generate enough money and support to justify staying in this race. in other words, norah, this final decision to stay may not be final. >> o'donnell: pretty interesting. wyatt andrews, thank you. john dickerson in washington is our cbs news political director. john, we heard some pretty strong reactions from republicans today. why are they so worried? >> well, the worry is that congressman akin's commence will do lasting damage with women voters. that's what puts the missouri senate race in peril and possibly hurts governor romney. he trails president obama by 10 to 15 points among that key voting block of women. democrats have been trying to argue the case that while mitt romney may talk about the economy, if republicans take control, it will usher in an extreme agenda. this was an extreme remark that
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puts the party and the nominee in the uncomfortable position about having to talk about abortion on the eve of a convention that is supposed to be a sign of party unity and fixing the economy. >> o'donnel: on that note, john, do you think this trouble is going to last? >> well, the republicans and mitt romney are trying to say congressman akin is not representative of the party. democrats say congressman's akin's position abortion is the same as the official party position. antiabortion rights with no exception for rape and incest. mitt romney says he would allow for those exceptions which puts him at odds with the party platform. that's a wrinkle that was true also for george w. bush and john mccain. romney just has to hope that the convention revelry will drown out any further detailed discussions about abortion and rape. then it will be up to the obama campaign to try to keep this issue alive for voters. >> o'donnell: we'll all be there at the convention next week. john dickerson, thank you. the presidential elect... election is not only a battle
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for votes but for money as well. and mitt romney and the republicans are ahead on that front. there's new figures that show they took in more than $101 million last month. the obama campaign and the democrats, $75 million. we have reports tonight from jan crawford and nancy cordes. first, jan, covering the romney campaign. >> reporter: norah, romney and the republicans have out-raised the president and his team for three straight months. their cash advantage could lead to shifts in campaign tactics on both sides. romney spent the day in texas raising money, assembling a warchest that could far outpace the president's. it was another big month for romney and the republicans who over the past three months have pulled in $284.2 million. significantly more than the $206 million raised by president obama and the democrats. and romney's not burning through money like the president's team which spent $109.7 million last month, $34.7 million more than they raised. that means romney and the republicans will have more to spend in the fall. they now have $186 million in
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cash on hand compared to $124 million for the president's team. factor in the outside groups and republican sources predict by labor day they could have a 2- to-1 spending advantage. in houston for a fund-raiser romney used that as part of his fundraising pitch saying to donors, you perhaps noticed in the paper we're a little wiser in our spending of dollars than the other side apparently. i'm not managing their campaign for them, but we're going to spend our money wisely. we're going to spend it to win. now romney's fundraising advantage does raise tactical challenges for the president. it basically means that romney can spread the map. that could force the president to divert resources and spend money defending states, norah, that he once considered solid. >> o'donnell: jan, thank you. the president has already blown through a lot of money. on ads attacking governor romney. more about that now from nancy cordes who is at the white house. hi, nancy.
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>> the obama campaign is comfortable with its decision to spend heavily in battle ground states like this one this summer. they argue it was money well spent, defining governor romney right after he clinched the republican nomination. in the 12 top battle ground states the obama campaign has spent more than $100 million since may on ads like this one. >> a new $250,000 tax cut to millionaires. >> reporter: attacking mr. romney's business record and tax plan. the obama campaign contends the strategy is working. in the most recent cbs news/"new york times" poll here in ohio, romney's unfavorable rating of 43% exceeded his favorable rating of 40%. the president acknowledged today he is being outraised by mr. romney and republican outside groups, but he tried to turn it into a virtue. >> i mean they have got folks writing $10 million checks.
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$20 million checks. they should be contributing that to a scholarship fund to send kids to college. >> reporter: here's the peril for both sides. come november voters may be sick of all that advertising, which is another reason, norah, that the obama campaign argues it was wise to spend big this summer before viewers started to tune in all out. >> reporter: all right, thank you, nancy. and the republicans may have an intruder at next week's convention in tampa. tropical storm isaac is churning la the atlantic tonight. forecaster predict it will grow into a hurricane by the end of the week. and it may hit florida while the convention organizers say they do have some contingency plans in case isaac hits the tampa area. in california today, the governor called in the national guard to help fight a massive wild fire. one of more than 40 large fires that are burning now in the west.
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the fire north of sacramento has burned more than 30 square miles. tammy leitner spent time on the fire line today. tammy, tell us what you saw. >> norah, we spent six hours with some of the 1800 firefighters that are working to protect the 3,000 homes in this area. after a three-day battle, they finally feel like they're getting the upper hand. the fire had been moving quickly across these ridges, but the tide turned, thanks to a change in the winds. and the small air force assembled began making run after run over the tree tops. fire battalion chief mike carr took us to the front lines. >> the fire spread has stopped at this point. what the crews are doing now is they're going in and concentrating on the hot spots, the flare-ups that are still within the control lines. >> reporter: is the smoke as bad as it was the previous days? >> no, we've seen some lifting of the visibility today, so we have much better visibility than we've had in some of the last couple of days. so we are able to get some of the aircraft in today and utilize them to control hot
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spots. >> reporter: while they're getting a handle on this fire it's still very unpredictable. we came down to the front lines to get some video, but now we're stuck. there's a tree down ahead of us and the fire is coming up the ridge behind us. so they say it's not safe to go either way at this point. after a few hours, we finally were able to get out. firefighters are keeping busy putting out hot spots like this one. choppers continue to take off from this airfield to put out hot spots. if these conditions keep up, they hope to have this fire fully contained by the end of the weekend. >> o'donnell: all right, thank you. now, how a soldier's best friend can save him from himself. diana nyad falls short again. on a swim like no other. and curiosity gets ready for its first test drive on mars when the "cbs evening news" continues. the pitch!
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>> o'donnell: on wall street today, one closely watched stock, facebook, fell again to just over half its initial public offer price. after rising yesterday, shares of the social network dipped 85 cents today, closing at $19.16. well, the i.p.o. on may 18 was $38. as john blackstone reports, facebook isn't the only internet
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company facing a tough market. >> reporter: three months ago facebook employees cheered as founder mark zuckerberg launched the social network as a publicly traded company. for a few hours that day, facebook was valued at more than $100 billion. today it's worth half that. has the social media bubble burst? >> it depends how you're viewing it. if you're an investor, you could definitely make that argument. >> reporter: brian cooley is editor at large at the technology tracking website c- net. social networking was hot and then hot. >> wall street judges hot differently than the rest of the world. it's all about momentum not necessarily just about size. >> reporter: with nearly a billion users, facebook is still huge but its slowing growth rate has left investors disappointed. same thing with the on-line gaming company that went public in december at $10 a share and
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is now trading at just $3. groupon, the discount coupon site started at $20 a share-- it is now trading under $5. a few months ago enthusiasm for social media stocks was so high, the state of california figured it would make $1.9 billion in taxes on facebook stock sales. now the cash-strapped state is likely to make far less. in silicon valley, booming house prices were in part attributed to the richest facebook employees were expecting from the stock offering. over the next few months, facebook workers and insiders can begin selling more than a billion shares, and that could drive the stock price even lower. >> their shares are coming on the market. that's increased supply, that of course affects demand and price, classic economics. >> reporter: on the day facebook went public mark zuckerberg sold more than 30 million shares personally making more than $1 billion. other early investors also cashed out selling shares worth nearly $9 billion. the bubble may have burst, but
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not before it proved profitable for some. john blackstone, cbs news, san francisco. >> o'donnell: diana nyad is forced to end her swim from cuba to florida. will she try again? that story is next. next. [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing
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>> o'donnell: diana nyad is back on dry land tonight. her goal of becoming the first person to swim from cuba to florida without a shark cage ended early this morning. she did cover about 48 miles which means she could have
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crossed the english channel twice but could go no farther. elaine quijano was in key west for nyad's arrival. >> reporter: an exhausted diana nyad swam the final yards of his 103-mile journey. it was a symbolic finish while short of the dishor tick one she was determined to make. to her team and the crowd that gathered to welcome her she was a winner. >> it was a magnificent, extraordinary experience. even without the cherry on the cake at the end. >> reporter: it was just before 1:00 in the morning after 41 hours in the water that the 62- year-old knew she was in trouble. when she was overwhelmed by a storm. it was the second in two days. earlier that night, jelly fish had stung her nine times. the pain was too much for her to take. >> too little hairs. i felt them sweep across my lips. i thought what was that? as i started to touch them, fire and then chills all over.
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>> reporter: nyad swam nearly continuously stopping only twice for short rests. her attempt to become the first person ever to swim from cuba to florida without a shark cage came complete with a support team. they monitored her from boats while two people in kayaks used electronic shark repellent. a person swimming near nyad tried keeping jelly fish away. she was grateful to everyone who helped her. >> they were the stuff of glory, and i wish we had gotten the final glory. i really do. >> reporter: decision to pull her out of the water was made for her and the team. a dejected nyad immediately asked en she could go back in. by morning she recognized she could not continue and would have to give up her 35-year quest. >> i'm not a quitter. but the sport and this particular ocean are different than they used to be.
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these jelly fish are prolific. you know what? to me there's no joy in that. >> reporter: nyad turns 63 tomorrow. she says she has no regrets. but admits learning to let go of her dream will be the hardest part. elaine quijano, cbs news, key west, florida. >> o'donnell: and on mars, nasa's robot explorer curiosity is ready for its first test drive. engineers have been putting the rover's drive wheels through their paces turning one at a time in place. in tomorrow's test they'll drive it straight ahead for ten feet and then back it up and turn. curiosity's seven-foot long manipulator arm also passed a first round of tests. for a soldier, a dog can be more than a friend. a dog can be a life saver as well. that story is next. next. you don't, honey. yes, you do! don't! i've washed a few cupcake tins in my day... oh, so you're a tin expert now. is that... whoa nelly! hi, kitchen counselor here.
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just one of over 70 satisfying recipes for one from stouffer's. my feet and exactly where i needed more support. i had tired, achy feet. until i got my number. my dr. scholl's custom fit orthotics number. now i'm a believer. you'll be a believer, too. learn where to find your number at drscholls.com. >> as the war in afghanistan drags on, the number of american troops suffering posttraumatic stress disorder grows. and the suicide rate is way up. among active-duty troops it is averaging almost 1 per day. and some of those most at risk could benefit from the companionship of service dogs but there's a problem, and here
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is that story. >> i hated dogs. i could not stand dogs growing up. and then i got benny, and he changed my life. >> this army specialist suffered a brain injury from a roadside bomb in my rack that left him depressed and suicidal. earlier this year, deep in depression with only benny by his side, he reached for his gun. >> i was sitting on the couch playing russian roulette and right before i pulled the trigger, to take my life, he jumped up on me and knocked out my hand and i believe 100 percent that he saved my life. >> psychological service dogs like many are trained to respond to their owners fear or panic by barking for example, or nuzzling their owners. support groups and volunteer trainers like debra kindle provide the dog's two army soldiers for free. we found more than 120 soldiers have them. >> the reality of my anecdotal experience has been within two
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weeks of placing a soldier with a service dog, they no longer are considering suicide as an option. >> a soldier could get a dog if his doctor recommended it but in january the army issued a new policy that also requires a panel review, commander approval, and only approves dogs from providers accredited by assistance dogs international, a group that sets training standards. >> we all want what is best for soldiers, if that is a dog, that is great. >> this curl is the army doctor that wrote the new policy. he says that the army had no formal policy and wanted to set minimum requirements. >> i do not see this as a huge, instruction to soldiers getting the dogs they need. >> since the policy took place, dog providers say that they have not been able to get lost two soldiers have requested them. other soldiers could lose their dogs. fort bliss commander concluded
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that service dogs should now be a treatment of last resort. >> is that a problem? >> yes. and i think that as we go forward, and tried to revisit the policy and craft new guidelines, that the summit will take a serious look at. >> david is not sure if he will be able to keep his dog, and that worries him. >> i'm on medication like crazy, for the symptoms, but now since i have him, he took 99 percent all those symptoms away. >> an army decision on whether he will lose a penny is imminent. >> and that is the cbs evening news. scott will be back tomorrow. i am nor o'donnell and thank you for joining us and good night. >> good evening i am alan martin
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>> i am dana king and we begin with developing news, a shift in wind has forced new evacuation's in the ponderosa fire. it has grown out to nearly 20,000 a.. >> firefighters are reporting 35 percent contained tonight, more than 3000 homes are still evacuated, this all started peer manson and has been threatening thousands of homes nearby. the wind has forced that fire south into the community of paint creek and that is where joe vasquez is tonight with the latest. >> that wind is just coming directly south, toward the camera. we have been watching bits of embers, like confetti, flying through the air and right behind me you can see the kind of damage that will do. you can see those black puffs of smoke as the fire is charging up this hill on the other side of the hill, there is one family that we watched evacuate earlier this afternoon. >> we have a lot of of you.
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